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From Killy Kiaran, Kilmartin, Argyll

Postcard of Necklace.
© National Museums Scotland


This necklace of Whitby jet and cannel coal was found in a burial at Killy Kiaran near Kilmartin in Argyll. It was an expensive prestige item for ostentatious display, imported from Yorkshire sometime between 2050 and 1800 BC.

The necklace consists of six decorated jet spacer plates, a triangular fastener of cannel coal and numerous beads, mostly of jet. The estimated original number of beads is 114. Twelve tiny beads of cannel coal may have formed a matching bracelet.

The only significant source of good quality jet occurs around Whitby in Yorkshire, although jet-related substances such as cannel coal and lignite are known from several places in Scotland. Jet was used in the Bronze Age for high status objects.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-041-918-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.HPO 4
Date: Between 2050 and 1800 BC
Material: Jet; crescentic; consisting of six engraved spacer plates, a triangular toggle and 110 fusiform beads
Where: Scotland, Argyll, Kilmartin, Slockavullin, Killy Kiaran
Description: Crescentic jet necklace consisting of six engraved spacer plates, a triangular toggle and one hundred and ten fusiform beads, from a Bronze Age burial at Killy Kiaran, Kilmartin, Argyll
  • Craw, J.H. On a jet necklace from a cist at Poltalloch, Argyll. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 63 (1928-9), pp 154-89. 
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